onsdag 16. januar 2019

The Patriarchy Strikes Back in China

This winter, Chinese authorities detained at least 12 young activists campaigning for labor rights in several cities, including kidnapping a student on the renowned Peking University campus and beating several of his classmates. Authorities have cracked down on student activists at other universities as well, including Renmin University, Nanjing University, and Sun Yat-sen University.

Foreign news reports emphasize that the students are Marxist, but the latest uprising is far more broad-based. The latest flashpoint around elite students supporting labor rights is connected to a years-long women’s rights movement since at least 2012 that has become increasingly cross-class in nature, advocating for gender equality and workers’ rights. The Communist Party has responded to the rise in student activism against inequality by tightening ideological controls on university campuses across China and intensifying its crackdown on academic freedom and women’s rights activism, particularly when it intersects with labor rights activism.